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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Saturday, October 25, 2008

McCain aides are complaining about Palin to everyone

Take just a minute to appreciate the increasing level of this.

On Thursday night/Friday morning, a couple of lower level aides passed on McCain campaign complaints about Palin to Ambinder who posted them on his blog in kind of a gray, hazy way. A Palin friendly McCain aide came out with a rebuttal.

By Friday night, it appears more aides were talking, and Politico had the story of Saturday with Palin allies complaining about McCain staff and McCain staff complaining about Palin. A much bigger venue, with much greater attention. The McCain campaign made an effort to rebut this as well.

You would think at this point, someone in the campaign would put a stop this, but, now, this afternoon, we've got McCain aides (plural) reconfirming the charges to CNN and then going directly after her character. (Calling her a diva!!!)
“She is a diva. She takes no advice from anyone,” said this McCain adviser, “she does not have any relationships of trust with any of us, her family or anyone else. Also she is playing for her own future and sees herself as the next leader of the party. Remember: divas trust only unto themselves as they see themselves as the beginning and end of all wisdom.”

The fact that this backstabbing is still going on (and getting more personal) after the Politico story this morning says that it's getting some sanction from top aides if not McCain himself.

Let's go back a few days to Chuck Todd on Wednesday noting the weird tension of the McCain-Palin joint interview where they both seemed very annoyed with each other.

The rifts behind this are deeper than we're hearing.

(When was the last time she passed through campaign headquarters?)

Related: Kinda makes me want to reexamine the Lieberman quote yesterday, "thank God she's not going to have to be president from day one. McCain's going to be alive and well."

Later: Is this just wardrobe wit or another Palin needle?
“Your state is filled with good, hard-working people all loving the outdoors,” she said, “and it was nice and crisp getting off the airplane and coming into the — it reminded me a lot of Alaska, so I put my warm jacket on, and it is my own jacket. It doesn't belong to anybody else."

As in, mine, and mine alone? and "Washington" didn't buy me?


  • I am not as fascinated by this split as you seem to be, but you are doing an admirable job of covering it. Most of the other blogs have failed to seize on the broader implications.

    I admit that, to me, the "Palin faction" represents a heavily delusional fraction of a generally delusional campaign, in a Party that seems to dwell completely in 2004 and relies on imaginary legions of un-polled faithful voters to save the day. But I recognise that others may be intrigued by how this plays out.

    None of these players seem clever enough to pull off any kind of compelling drama. It's a soap opera cast with tedious dunces. Palin is no Iago, scheming for power. She is a grinning, winking moron clawing her way to the top of a manure pile in a sad game of King of the Hill in which the loser gets to own the manure heap. Who will win the prize and take home this stunning defeat? Tune in next week.

    If Palin does win the prize, it will mean that the GOP will move even further into the wilderness. I would rather see a return to the Republican Party that existed before the evangelicals took over, because the nation really needs a competent opposition Party.

    By Blogger Todd Dugdale , at 3:47 PM  

  • I think my interest breaks down into three parts. 1) Obvious Schadenfreude. 2) It's a look inside the McCain campaign. As badly as it's been run, and as poorly organized, I'm finding it interesting to see which factions are in or out.

    And, 3) I consider this a huge potential impacter on election day. If this is the tone of the top of the campaign, how much of this trickles down to regional offices and to volunteers? How do those new Palin supporting volunteers feel if this stuff starts kicking around the offices.

    We've still got over a week to go. I don't think this will get to most voters, but if it hobbles the campaign, that could be a factor in a couple states and may well effect downballot races if the civil war affects operations.

    Have you ever worked in a company that's been acquired or that layoffs were coming to? Nobody works, and I have a hunch that's where they're heading.


    It's not really clear yet how big the Palin faction is, but it is large enough to be one side of the fight. They obviously don't have the insiders, but they've got the people.

    And, I do believe that Palin, as an issue, will mark the dividing line of the civil war. The best thing for the bigwigs would be to put Huckabee on top of her, but they don't like hime either.

    And I think the tawdriness and pettiness of it ads to the drama in kind of a "made for TV" cheap/shot on video kinda way.


    By Blogger mikevotes, at 4:03 PM  

  • Oh, and this ugliness also shows that there is NOBODY running the McCain campaign.

    He's out in New Mexico, and all this crap's going on in the office?

    I don't think you can expect them to make any significant moves if all the factions are more concerned about blasting each other.

    It's a big story. It's the campaign imploding.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 4:07 PM  

  • It's a big story. It's the campaign imploding.

    Fair enough.
    It concerns me that Republicans may tend to view their defeat as the result of an imploded campaign rather than a repudiation of their policies and ideology.

    It's generally hard to judge what is going on in the McCain ground game from the outside. Locally, some Party officials have implied that the selection of McCain campaign office locations far from mass transit has made it difficult to get seniors to volunteer. I read between the lines and think that this indicates they are seeing low volunteer numbers here in MN.

    By Blogger Todd Dugdale , at 4:57 PM  

  • Well, the more they externalize the loss, "the economy," "a poorly run campaign," etc, the longer it will take them to start rebuilding.

    And, just to be clear, I didn't say they were losing because they're imploding. They're imploding because they're losing.

    (And the implosion will only make that worse.)


    On groundgame,

    Again, I keep going back to the report that they were hiring thousands of canvassers in Florida.

    I can't tell you specifically what they're doing wrong, but all the field reports from the McCain field offices across much of the country paint them as few people there and not much activity. Usually, just one or two people making calls.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 6:01 PM  

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